Shahril's call: Come alive, Kallang

Singapore captain Shahril Ishak wants local fans to bring back the Kallang Roar for the Suzuki Cup.
Singapore captain Shahril Ishak wants local fans to bring back the Kallang Roar for the Suzuki Cup.

Unlike England ahead of just about any major football tournament, Singapore has not demanded victory from its national team.

Neither is the country exploding with optimism. 

Indeed, even though Singapore are defending the AFF Suzuki Cup on home soil, the general sentiment is one of cynical realism. 

Concerns over the pressures of playing under the close scrutiny of a home crowd at a fancy new stadium that has yet to be properly christened with the warmth and familiarity of a home, take centre-stage.  

There are fears of an opposition too slick (Thailand), a rivalry that may debilitate (Malaysia), and the intimate knowledge of a former commander-in-chief (Myanmar coach Radojko Avramovic). 

Fortunately, the Lions have made a habit of turning it on when the odds are stacked against them.

Singapore have won the Asean title  a record four times, in 1998, 2004, 2007, and 2012.


From R Sasikumar to Lionel Lewis to Aleksandar Duric, former winners vividly remember how little was expected of each of the title-winning teams. 

In 1998, Indonesia and Thailand played out a farcical encounter, both looking to lose their final group game and thus win the right to face Singapore, who were perceived to be weak,  in the semi-finals.

The Lions went on to win their first major trophy.

It was a less bizarre, but similar story in 2004, and again in 2012 when, on both occasions, little was expected of a team in transition. 

But victories came on a foundation of unity in a tightly knit team. 

The setting is a similar one this year, with skipper Shahril Ishak and his crew of seniors, the likes of Hassan Sunny and Baihakki Khaizan, taking ownership of the team. The younger lads are in good hands. 

Shahril has fully embraced defensive duties on the pitch, and Baihakki has taken a public rebuking from coach Bernd Stange on the chin and went on to improve.

It is now all about the team. 

“We know how to work with one another, we’ve spent a lot of time together, and we’re getting there — this unity is a weapon for us, we know that,” said Safuwan Baharudin, who starred in the 2012 title-winning side. 

“We weren’t the best team in terms of technique or tactics. 

“Good individuals can win you matches, but a united team can win you championships.” 

Nazri Nasir and Rafi Ali played in that ill-fated 4-0 loss to Malaysia in 2002, one of the Lions’ darkest days, and they warned of the perils that come with playing under the pressure of a home crowd. 

And both are convinced that in this team there are players who know how to deal with it, even flourish. 

Shahril, Hassan, Baihakki, Safuwan and Hariss Harun all know what a Suzuki Cup campaign is about, and they will remember what it takes to win. 

They have played in the cauldrons of Senayan in Jakarta and Rajamangala in Bangkok and won, so an unfamiliar turf at the National Stadium won’t faze them — as long as you, the red-and-white Singapore fan, are there. 

Shahril and Co. are aware of the arduous task that lies ahead when they kick off their title defence on Sunday, and what they need is that proverbial bottle. 

Courage, gumption or confidence, call it what you will, but Shahril insisted it will come from a packed National Stadium. 

“Playing in front of a stadium full of our own fans really gives us that extra boost,” he said.

“But in this team, we believe in one another. I hope you believe in us and come — that will make all the difference.”

5 facts about Sebastian Vettel as he joins Ferrari

Red Bull Racing's German driver Sebastian Vettel (L) chats with Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (R) during the press conference at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on November 20, 2014.

Ferrari relaunched their Formula One world title ambitions by confirming Sebastian Vettel on a three-year deal on Thursday (Nov 20).

The move comes after Fernando Alonso's departure from Ferrari was confirmed. 

German Vettel is regarded as the heir to stricken compatriot Michael Schumacher, who won five of his seven world titles with Ferrari.

Here are five facts about Vettel as he leaves Red Bull:

Four driver's titles

The 27-year-old is one of the most successful Formula One drivers of all time, winning the drivers title in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for Red Bull.

In 2010 he was the youngest title winner at 23 years and 134 days.

He is dubbed "Baby Schumi"

Like Schumacher, Vettel had his first taste of racing at the Kerpen karting track near Cologne. German media call him "Baby Schumi" though Vettel likes to play down the comparison.

Most points in a season

Among his many records, Vettel also has the most Formula One points in a season: 397; most wins in a season: 13; most pole positions: 15; and youngest Grand Prix winner: 21 years, 73 days.

The Beatles fan

Vettel is a big fan of The Beatles, especially their song “Drive My Car”. He did a voice-over for the German version of the animated film Cars 2. The star driver says he is competitive and often impatient, and that has caused much of the bad publicity that sometimes surrounds him.

Crooked finger

Vettel nearly had his finger sliced off in flying debris in one accident as a teenager. But it was his crooked finger salute after winning races that became one of the symbols of his success which started to annoy fellow drivers. 

Source: AFP

Cyanide found in the house of Japan's 'black widow'

Picture taken on March 13, 2014 shows 67-year-old Japanese woman Chisako Kakehi, arrested on suspicion of poisoning her husband with cyanide

Japanese police on Thursday (Nov 20) have reportedly recovered cyanide from the home of a 67-year-old multi-millionaire.

Chisako Kakehi was arrested on suspicion of poisoning her latest husband after six other partners also died.

Television footage showed about a dozen investigators, wearing masks and gloves, marching into the house of Kakehi in Kyoto a day after her arrest in Japan’s latest apparent “black widow” case.

Kakehi has been the beneficiary of a combined 800 million yen (S$8.8 million) over the last two decades, Jiji Press news agency said.

This was insurance money and other assets she received after the death of her seven partners, including the latest husband.

Kansai Televison, quoting investigators, reported that cyanide was hidden inside a trash bag at her home.

Husband number four Isao Kakehi fell sick suddenly at home and was confirmed dead at a hospital in December last year, less than two months after the couple married.

Highly toxic

An autopsy found highly toxic cyanide compounds in his blood.

Kakehi has denied any involvement in his death.

Before her arrest, she told the Sankei newspaper: “I did not do it. Why would I do anything that would lead to my arrest over the death of my husband. I’m not that stupid.”

The autopsy came after the death of a 75-year-old boyfriend in September, who fell suddenly ill after the couple ate together at a restaurant.

Past incidents 

Kakehi’s dalliance with death began in 1994 when her first husband passed away at the age of 54.

In 2006, her second husband, whom she had met through a dating agency, died of a stroke aged 69, while the third marriage ended in 2008 with the death of her 75-year-old partner.

A boyfriend, believed to have been suffering from some form of cancer, died a year later.

In 2012, her then-fiance met his fate after collapsing while riding a motorbike.

If she is found to have been involved in the deaths of numerous partners, Kakehi will become the latest example in Japan of a “ black widow", named for the female spider that devours its mate after coupling.

Source: AFP

Taiwanese man stabbed ex-lover 47 times, sexually assaulted her corpse

He stabbed his ex-lover 47 times before sexually assaulting her.

A Taiwanese man faces the death penalty after he was indicted on Thursday (Nov 20), for fatally stabbing his ex- girlfriend.

He also sexually assaulted her corpse in a “ brutal and inhumane” public attack, prosecutors said.

Chang Yen-wen, 29, who was charged with murder, knifed the woman at least 47 times in a frenzied attack in a street in Taipei on Sept 22.

The attack came after she spurned his attempts to rekindle their romance, the district prosecutor’s office confirmed.

Chang, who worked for a global accounting firm and is a graduate of the island’s top university, was also indicted on the charge of “desecrating a corpse” after allegedly sexually assaulting the 22-year-old kindergarten teacher.

Horrified passers-by alerted the police to the attack.


Prosecutors said they sought capital punishment for Chang as they said the crime was premeditated.

They said he had bought a knife a week before the “brutal and inhumane” attack.

Violent crimes are relatively rare in Taiwan, but in recent months there have been a number of attacks that have left the public shocked.

Last week (Nov 13), 60 people were indicted on murder and assault charges for beating a policeman to death outside a nightclub.

In July, prosecutors indicted and sought the death penalty for a 21-year-old college student accused of killing four people and wounding nearly two dozen others in a stabbing spree in the subway.

Source: AFP

Clementi Town Secondary School wins top prize in Panasonic KWN video competition

Clementi Town Secondary School receiving The Clipper Award (for best editing) from judge, Mr Nicholas Chee, Executive Creative Director of The Flying Kick Asia

Clementi Town Secondary School emerged the big winner in this year's Panasonic's Kid Witness News (KWN) video competition.

They bagged the Top News Production Award at the ceremony held on Nov 14.

There were 52 entries for the top prize, which explored the damaging effects of social media, the plight of girls with abusive fathers, and environmental issues.

The winning entry impressed judges for its sobering review of the benefits and ills of social media. 

In addition to winning the top award, Clementi Town's entry, "Social ME-dia", also won The Clipper Award for best editing and the impactful use of animation and video for effective communication.

The video, produced by a team of Sec 3 students, will represent Singapore in the global competition to be held next year.

Said Ms Lai Lei Khim, Director – Outreach Division, Media Development Authority: "This very meaningful competition also provides the opportunity for young people to think about and advocate for positive social changes through the use of media and the power of the video medium." 

KWN is designed to allow students to create news programmes from the perspective of young adults and to foster creativity and presentation skills.

The competition has been held internationally in primary and secondary schools for the last 26 years, and for the last 11 years in Singapore.

The category award winners:

• The Clipper Award (Best Editing): Clementi Town Secondary School
• The Tune Award (Best Sound Effects): St Gabriel’s Primary School
• The Presenter of Tomorrow Award (Best Presenter): Khalisah Bte Shari, 11, (Pri 5), St. Anthony’s Canossian Primary School
• The Spotlight Award (Best Education Content): CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent
• Young Film Maker Award (Best entry in the Primary Category): Fuhua Primary School
• Budding Journalist Award (Most Promising Young Journalist in the Primary Category):
Christie Callia Sardjono, nine, (Pri 3), CHIJ Our Lady of Nativity

Watch the winning video here:


Failed car break-in in Ipoh leaves thief trapped

The thief was trapped after people surrounded the car.

A thief was arrested on Tuesday (Nov 18) after an attempt to break into a car went wrong in Ipoh, Malaysia. 

The 34-year-old suspect, who tried to steal a music system from inside the vehicle, was caught red-handed by the car owner who quickly shouted for help. 

People started gathering around the suspect who was left trapped in the vehicle. 

Police arrived later to arrest him.

"From our investigations, he has 12 convictions for various offences. He admitted to committing seven vehicle break-ins,” said a police officer.

Source: The Star Online

Singaporeans if you are going to Japan, take note of these 'rules'

The Japan embassy in Thailand posted a list of 10 rules for Thai tourists.

​If you're heading to Japan any time soon, it would be wise to take a look at some of these 'rules'. The Japan embassy in Thailand noted on its Facebook page that there were a few social media postings deriding the behaviour of Thai tourists.

So they decided to provide Thais with a list of guidelines - that all tourists to Japan should probably take note of.

1. Stand on the left side of an escalator or walk on the right side if you are in a hurry. 

2. Don't use your mobile phone on buses and trains. If you have to, put it on silent mode.

3. Never jump the queue - even if you are a child or the elderly.

4. When using an elevator, the first person who gets in will hold the button to open the door for other passengers and be the last person to leave (This can be applied in Singapore too).

5. Place money into a provided tray when paying for goods at a shop. Cashiers will also give change on the same tray.

6. If you need service at a shop, you should wait for an assistant to come to them. 

7. Do not speak loudly in public as Japanese high respect privacy. 

8. Separate garbage and recyclables and put them in the appropriate bin. Normally, there are no garbage bins on sidewalks, except in front of convenience stores and train stations. 

9. Drivers must stop at zebra crossings and wait for all to cross the road with patience without honking the horn.

10. Do not use own chopsticks to pick food for other people. 

Source: Bangkok Post


Tags: Japan, Tourism and thailand

GALLERY: At least eight dead in ‘historic’ US snowstorm

A “historic” storm dumped more than five feet of snow, stranding scores of motorists, canceling flights and killing at least eight people in the northeastern United States, officials said Wednesday.
Americans smothered in mountains of snow after a stunning blizzard hit the northeast are in for more of the white stuff through the end of the week.

A “historic” storm dumped more than a metre of snow, stranding scores of motorists, cancelling flights and killing at least eight people in the northeastern United States, officials said on Wednesday.

Areas east and southeast of Buffalo, in northern New York state, could receive a year’s accumulation of snow or even more in just two days, Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz told reporters.

The deadly burst, named Winter Storm Knife, may see as much as another metre of snowfall on Thursday (Nov 20), which could prompt a federal disaster declaration, Mr Poloncarz said.

The Arctic blast will keep temperatures below normal until the weekend, and all 50 states recording below freezing temperatures on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

Photos: Twitter, Reuters

A state of emergency and travel bans are in effect across Buffalo’s Erie County, and authorities ordered people to stay at home to allow crews to clear roads, repair power lines and provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable.

Source: AFP


Tags: snow, buffalo, historic and US

Robber pretending to be policeman gets beaten up by victims in M'sia

The robber tried to escape but was caught and beaten up by his victims.

A robber who pretended to be a policeman and tried to rob three foreigners ended up being beaten up at an apartment in Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (Nov 18).  

According to Harian Metro, the suspect, 34, was accompanied by three accomplices.

They convinced three Somalis in their 20s, to let them enter their apartment by showing them handcuffs.

"He ordered them to hand over their valuables. The victims asked for identification, resulting in an altercation with the suspect," said an officer.

“The suspect grabbed an envelope containing RM1,300 (S$500) from one of the victims’ pockets before fleeing, but the victims gave chase and caught him with help from other residents."

The suspect was then beaten up by the enraged victims.

He was sent to a hospital following his arrest.

Investigations revealed that the suspect had committed 10 previous offences and had a small knife on him. 

Source: The Star Online 

Ang Mo Kio murder case update: Man, 40, arrested

A woman in her 30s was found dead in the Ang Mo Kio flat today.

A woman in her 30s was found dead in a flat at Block 406 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 today.

The ninth storey of the block was cordoned off and police officers were seen outside.

The victim is believed to be Vietnamese, according to a furniture shop owner in the area.

A man in his 40s has been arrested for murder and he will be charged on Saturday (Nov 22).

Murder suspect being taken away by police. TNP PHOTO: Jeremy Long

Neighbours said they heard loud noises in the morning - a man was shouting while a woman was heard crying. 

Investigations are ongoing and foul play has not been ruled out.